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    Best 50mm lens for your camera: 8 ‘Nifty Fifty’ lenses tested and rated

    | Lenses | Reviews | 03/10/2013 00:01am
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    Best 50mm lens for your camera: Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM

    Best 50mm lens for your camera: Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM

    Price: £115
    Compared with the Sony 50mm f/1.4, which is the second most expensive in the group, this f/1.8 lens costs little more than a third of the price.

    It’s designed exclusively for cameras that feature APS-C format image sensors, so can only be used in crop mode on full-frame bodies like the Sony A99.

    It’s quite small and lightweight, but feels a bit plasticky and, like the Canon and Pentax f/1.8 lenses, has a plastic rather than metal mounting plate.

    Unlike the Sony f/1.4 lens, the focus distance scale is printed on the focus ring (which rotates during autofocus), instead of being positioned beneath a viewing window.

    But at least it does have a focus distance scale, which is absent on the Canon and Pentax f/1.8 lenses.

    Another difference between the Sony lenses is that this one’s an SAM lens, with a built-in Smooth Autofocus Motor.

    It’s a fairly basic electric motor and, on our A77 body, offered neither an increase in autofocus speed nor reduction in noise, compared with the f/1.4.

    Whereas all other lenses in the group have a minimum focus distance of 45cm, this one focuses down to 34cm. As a result, the maximum magnification factor is slightly larger, at 0.2x rather than the more typical 0.15x.

    Performance
    Sharpness is marginally higher than in Sony’s more expensive f/1.4 lens, and colour fringing is better controlled. Vignetting on APS-C bodies is worse than with other lenses on test, which is no real surprise when all the others are full-frame compatible.

    Features: 3/5
    Build quality: 3/5
    Image quality: 3/5
    Value: 3/5

    Overall: 3/5

    PAGE 1 – What is a 50mm lens good for?
    PAGE 2 – Features to look for in a Nifty Fifty lens
    PAGE 3 – Best 50mm lens: 01 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
    PAGE 4 – Best 50mm lens: 02 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
    PAGE 5 – Best 50mm lens: 03 Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
    PAGE 6 – Best 50mm lens: 04 Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
    PAGE 7 – Best 50mm lens: 05 Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8
    PAGE 8 – Best 50mm lens: 06 Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
    PAGE 9 – Best 50mm lens: 07 Sony 50mm f/1.4 A
    PAGE 10 – Best 50mm lens: 08 Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM
    PAGE 11 – Image quality comparison
    PAGE 12 – Best 50mm lens: Verdict

    READ MORE

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    Best camera focus techniques: 10 surefire ways to get sharp photos
    Manual focus: what you need to know to get sharp images
    Focus modes: how, when and why you need to change your AF settings


    Posted on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 12:01 am under Lenses, Reviews.

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